Archive for August, 2009
As an observer, I’m gripped by the secret lives of others–what people privately hold dear and what they stow away from the watchful eyes of outsiders. As a paranoid resident of New York City, I’m obsessed with keeping my “valuables” hidden. So it came as no surprise to me when, as I was browsing the latest Crate&Barrel catalog that I’d snagged from a random stairwell, I was struck by the handsome quality of the Hunter Trunk and its hidden offerings inside.
The large refashioned steamer trunk with three hinged lids opens to reveal generous storage areas with a surprise at every turn. The center compartment opens up to a space with removable dividers for stashing up to eight bottles of wine (served, no doubt, atop the removable serving tray). And if that isn’t enough, just pull out the lid support arms on either end to keep the storage areas open without sacrificing tabletop space.
The richness of the wood, its iron hardware with clear powdercoat finish, its various compartments for keeping odds and ends like remote controls and straggler DVDs in place. Yes, I could surely visualize my hardcover of The Count of Monte Cristo and a brightly colored, autumn knitting project atop this sophisticated, dark wooded trunk. What might be tucked away neatly underneath? Well, that’s a secret, of course.
There’s nothing quite like a traditional wood chest or trunk to polish off the look of a room, except maybe an old, oak grandfather clock or dark cherry wood built-in bookshelves or a sleek, black baby grand piano. . . but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
If you’re into matching furniture, you might also want to check out the companion storage piece to the full-size Hunter Trunk – the Hunter Side Trunk.
Hunter Trunk: $499.00
Hunter Side Trunk: $329.00
Visit crateandbarrel.com for more photos and information.
Posted by Nicole Bruce
Vicente Wolf has been a major figure in the NYC design world for over 30 years. Known for his layered interiors, Wolf consistently uses neutral color schemes that are accessorized with unique objects from his travels. Today, we want to focus on his amazing loft in New York. Shiny white floors, a free floating bed, lots of art, the combination of gray upholstery and bright yellow accents. What more could you ask for?
When it comes to inspiration, not all rooms need to be full interpretations of runway looks. Sometimes, the looks can provide inspiration in smaller doses, filling in corners, hallways, or little areas that are lacking direction. There have been many times where I’ve created smaller vignettes in my own home based on colors, styles or patterns from the pages of fashion magazines…
To give you a great example of this, I’ve paired this fall look from Basso & Brooke with a bedroom from m. design. How many times have you moved into a new space with the bare essentials, only to get stumped on where to begin with accessories? In this case, we’re pulling the colors from a more traditional look to apply them in a modern space. The green becomes the main accent color, while touches of cream and gold add some great contrast and a touch of glamour. The mirror even provides a hint of the sophistication we see in the runway style, without it appearing out of place. A great reason why you should never rule out something you’re intitially drawn to simply based on the overall look – sometimes the inspiration is really in the details.
Charoonkit Thahong’s New York loft mixes Hollywood regency with mid-century modern overtones to create a space that celebrates good design. Some gems include the 1969 VP Globe lamp by Verner Panton, the Fortuny Moda lamp, the Knoll Tulip armless chairs and the oh-so-fun black Victorian love-seat. Thahong, an art director for R/GA, has managed to infuse warmth into the otherwise over-sized, industrial space (located in Hell’s Kitchen) adding subtle touches of glamour to finish off the look. It’s proof that life without walls doesn’t mean sticking to only one aesthetic; Thahong’s space is fit for both Charles Eames and Marie Antoinette!
Photography by Udom, represented by Corniela Adams
Enter this London loft and you might feel as if you’re ready to set sail. And its nautical feel is simply why we wanted to share it with you. From the portal windows, to the varying art pieces hanging on exposed brick walls, an undulating wooden panel ceiling, a galley entrance to the open kitchen with a retro island counter and captain bar stools, the entire space maintains a balance of spaciousness with intimacy (a definite sense when in a boat’s cabin).
With a roof that offers a beautiful aerial view of London’s financial district across the Thames, we think this loft dweller must dream they’re out on the open seas. We like how they took matters into their own hands and didn’t hold back on a specific theme. A bit whimsical, yet with a definite purpose, this London loft called out to us, because, well, we’ve never seen anything quite like it. Who wouldn’t want to be “shipwrecked” here?
At this year’s second New York International Gift Fair, it was all about functional design. In the “Accent on Design” section, the part applicable to us the most, we were overwhelmed by the innovative designs exhibited. Here is a round-up of our favorite, top three participants:
#1 – Moleskine
Just when you think this forward-thinking journal company has reached their creative limits, they present ingenuous product design. Some stand-out new products include a tear away desk calendar (pictured above), the 2010 “Color A Month” Daily Planner box set, extra large folio journals, and the 2010 Pocket Softcover Project Planner that features 54 accordion pages.
This steady favorite of ours specializes in providing a context for designers of all fields to create, develop and produce various high-quality home and lifestyle items. This “publishing house” for designers has resulted in unique accessories that mix form and function, many of which have playful overtones. Our favorite new designs they were showing include a white table that swivels, a candleholder meant for dripping wax, and a foursome of Swedish stick-back chairs.
#3 – DESU DESIGN
According to their mission, DESU DESIGN “strive to make innovative products that blur the boundary between art and design” using modern manufacturing technology to mass produce their products. Every single furnishing and accessory that they sell has a specified function. Their small products for the home feel especially custom. Our favorites: the spice rack series.
In the fashion world, there is no question that Chanel has always been known for its signature black and white pieces. So, when I found the room below in the archives of House Beautiful, my immediate thought was to pair it with this look from the Fall 2009 Chanel collection….
A perfect balance of black and white. Unexpected details and sexy materials with ladylike accessories create this classy look. But then, another design house came to mind…Balmain! One of my favorite collections of the season (and I guarantee you’ll see many pieces in the September issues of fashion magazines across the country). Less ladylike, more rocker chic. Still sophisticated, but in a more casual, wearable style. While the Chanel look matches the more traditional accessories of the room like the chairs and the sleek marble flooring, the edgier and more relaxed pieces like a worn in rug and the rough finished mirrors channel the Balmain look. So, dear readers, I leave it to you to decide. Which look best matches this glamorous entryway?
The Bergamot Station is not just an internationally renown art and cultural center, but a remodeled warehouse that now serves as a variety of things. It’s a destination where visitors can check out a myriad of galleries and also discover where some of the artists’ dwell. The Bergamot Station is bustling with design firms, film studios, a bookshop, frame store, and cafe.
In 1994, it added on an entirely new building on site: The Bergamot Artist Lofts. Pugh + Scarpa Architects created a phenomenal geometrically sound mixed-use of space. The ground level is comprised of four live/work lofts that all have a standard arrangement: two-story living/studio space with the mezzanine used predominantly for sleeping. In the early 1950’s, The Bergamot Station, formerly a historical transport stop along the now inoperative Red Car Line, served as an industrial hub for a hot water manufacturer.
Without compromising the raw industrial space, Pugh + Scarpa, preserved the rustic feel and original character of the industrial warehouse. The Bergamot Lofts have become not only the home to some artists, but a creative complex for visitors around the world to come and explore a mall of art galleries and more.
With the end of summertime quickly approaching, it’s hard not to have vacation on the brain. The Brown/Saide Residence in the Hamptons is a perfect mix of modern set in the country. The lofty residence was designed by Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz in collaboration with architect Brian E. Boyle and was built in the ’80s. The 6,700 sq. ft. residence is both private and perfect for entertaining when the owner’s feel lead. The exterior of the house is almost camouflaged by the lush, natural landscaping, creating an organic aesthetic that you would think might continue indoors. However, step inside and you will find the space is anything but. Rather, the interior features a clean, white palette, highlighted with bits of color and sleek furnishings. The striking contrast works, proving modern can be done in any context.
While some Rooms from the Runway can be complex – layering patterns, mixing styles, or finding the perfect accents – others are quite simple. Before the sunshine gives away to fall weather and styles, I thought I’d take this post outside with a more simple, color-inspired matchup…
The second I saw this Douglas Hannant dress, I loved the idea of a head to toe use of such a cool color in the heat of summer. In warmer climates we tend to see a lot of yellows, sepias and terra cotta tones – but imagine how fresh it must feel on this small patio with a dose of light aqua painted everywhere! And, because there definitly can be too much of a good thing, breaking up the color a bit with whites, a simple striped rug, and some plants, just like the necklace is a much needed accent piece to the dress, is essential. Given the right space, I would absolutely try this color out on my own patio. Isn’t is amazing what a little color inspiration can do?